Reviewing the medium of instruction debate in Türkiye

Ekoç Özçelik A., Kavanoz S., Yılmaz S.

Educast International Conference 2023, Cairo, Egypt, 9 - 10 February 2023

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Cairo
  • Country: Egypt
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This presentation is part of the project supported by Yildiz Technical University Scientific Research Projects Coordination Unit, Project No: SBA-2022-5029 and examines the medium-of-instruction controversy in Türkiye. Understanding any type of social, historical, or linguistic phenomenon in a Turkish setting is not an easy process, thus our goal is to shed light on the oscillating ideas. Arguments in favor of EMI focus on its pedagogical effectiveness and cognitive benefits. They also value the additional advantages of living in the 21st century, which include the unprecedented level of global connectivity, and a strikingly wide range of sociocultural discourses influenced by English as a global language. Many academics and intellectuals contend that using English as the primary language of instruction has no negative effects and emphasize the benefits of learning a second language for improving first-language proficiency. On the other hand, EMI has received harsh criticism for resulting in lower levels of participation and knowledge in class. Additionally, it has been criticized for causing ineffective scheduling of class time and more teacher preparation time due to students' lower proficiency levels, which make it harder for them to understand the material. EMI, one of the most challenging and contentious issues in Turkish education, has always been and will remain at the top of the political agenda. The "new thing" might be to examine the issue critically and thoroughly to determine whether local conditions permit and support the integration of EMI (in part or in whole) into the curriculum rather than addressing it from either an English or Turkish standpoint.